Beef Chow YumEstimated Cost:  $10.00

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time:  20 minutes

Serves:  4

It’s great to find a recipe that matches the flavor you get with Chinese takeout.  Beef Chow Yum does this wonderfully.  The Bean-garlic sauce combined with brown sugar is the key to its “is this takeout?” secret formula.

8 oz. wide rice OR egg noodles
1/2 cup rice vinegar or dry sherry
4 tsp. black bean garlic sauce
1 Tbs. soy sauce
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
4 tsp. canola or peanut oil, divided
1 tsp. ginger, minced (how to)
1 sm. onion, thinly sliced
1 bag (16 oz.) frozen stir-fry vegetables
1/2 cup water, divided
8 oz. sirloin steak, cut into thin slices

1. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and transfer to a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, combine rice vinegar, black bean-garlic sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and cornstarch; mix well and set aside.

3. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 teaspoons of the canola oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and onion, stirring often, until softened about 1 to 3 minutes. Add vegetables and 1/4 cup of the water; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables mixture to the bowl with the noodles.

4. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of canola oil in the sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add steak and cook, stirring, until browned, 1 to 3 minutes. Add the reserved sauce from step #2 to the pan; stirring, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Return the noodles and veggies to the sauté pan along with the remaining 1/4 cup water; tossing to coat with sauce, until heated through, about 2 minutes more.

Mike’s comments:

The recipe for Beef Chow Yum works equally well with tofu for a vegetarian meal or boneless, skinless chicken breast. Sliced cucumbers and tomatoes tossed with rice vinegar, sesame seeds, and a pinch of salt make for a perfect side.

Black bean garlic sauce, rice vinegar, and rice noodles, sometimes called “Pad Thai noodles” or “straight-cut” can be found in the Asian or international food sections at most supermarkets.